The great Stephen Sondheim was a guest on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Thursday night, and it was quite something. The 91 year old Broadway legend isn’t slowing down anytime soon, explaining that he’s working on a new project as we speak. But aside from that wonderful news, the thing that stood out from the interview was a touching moment when Sondheim teared up in response to Colbert’s admiration.
Sondheim was on the show in part to promote “Putting It Together (How Stephen Sondheim and I Created “Sunday in the Park with George”),” a new book written by Sondheim’ longtime collaborator James Lapine. Colbert was one of the people asked to blurb the book, and he read that blurb aloud to Sondheim and the audience.
“When I was 19, I read the lyrics of ‘Putting It Together’ to my mother, to say that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Even though I had no idea of what ‘this’ might be. I couldn’t sing like Mandy Patinkin, I couldn’t compose like Sondheim, I couldn’t write or direct like James Lapine. But like Seurat’s hat, that play was a window from this world to that,” Colbert said.
He then addressed Sondheim directly: “I will always be grateful to you for laying out the desire and the beauty of the act of creation itself, regardless of where that may take you.”
“When I read that, I was touched, and I’m touched again” Sondheim replied, visibly and audibly choking up.
Sondheim also revealed that he’s working on a new musical with playwright David Ives, called “Square One,” though few details were provided. We can’t wait, regardless.
Watch the segment below.